Primary School Pupils Help Preserve St. Wenceslas Rotunda

Several types of artwork created by talented fifth-graders were auctioned to raise funds for the St. Wenceslas Rotunda Preservation Project (photographs by Linhardtová)

Pupils of the Lesser Town primary school have joined the numerous supporters of the St. Wenceslas Rotunda Preservation Project by taking a very unconventional approach. In art classes, the children created rotunda-themed artwork that was then auctioned off. All proceeds from the auction went to the conservation project devoted to the monument.

Renata Turková, Deputy Head of the Lesser Town primary school, explains the origins of the idea: “Every year we try to support various charitable projects, either by way of auctioning student artwork and other works, or through parental donations. This year it was our colleague and class teacher of the former 4.A, Ms. Jana Pohunková, who initiated the idea to contribute to the Rotunda. So, this year we decided to donate the proceeds from this traditional auction towards the reconstruction of the national monument.”

Pupils and teachers of the nearby school learned about the discovery of the significant historical monument from a lecture by Dr. Jarmila Čiháková of the National Heritage Institute. “I live in the Lesser Town and am interested in history, so I decided to attend Dr. Čiháková’s lecture, thanks to which I came to know about the existence of the Rotunda and its conservation project,” says Jana Pohunková. “Our school is part of the Lesser Town, which is why we are always eager to partake in local events. We encourage the pupils to do the same because the surroundings of our school are quite unique,” she adds.

Children from this year’s 5.A and other classes became acquainted with the Project through the online donation application, and were freely inspired by the motifs of lions and griffins that decorate the original tiles discovered within the Rotunda. During their art lessons, the pupils then created monotypes and ceramic tiles to be auctioned off at the annual meeting. The overall sum collected from the parents, teachers and the Lesser Town primary school exceeded 9,000 CZK.

St. Wenceslas Rotunda Preservation Project is still running, with the public donations collected so far amounting to approximately 60% of the necessary amount. The monument has been conserved and is now awaiting numerous restoration works and other planned modifications that will render it accessible to the wider public. One of the arrangements covered by the Project is the installation of special air-conditioning and ventilation equipment, which will ensure suitable microclimatic conditions necessary for the protection and preservation of the Rotunda’s historic features and artifacts.

“It was a different kind of work, which was really interesting, and we also did something for a good cause,” say the pupils themselves when asked how they enjoyed working on their project. Jana Pohunková confirms the children’s enthusiastic approach and adds: “We will definitely come and have a look at the Rotunda when the Project is successfully over. Our pupils will be delighted to see the unique monument that their joint effort has helped to preserve.”

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